Skip to main content
12:00 am
censor, so i the threat to silence talk radio...
12:01 am
outstanding new book called quote come censorship the threat to silence talk radio the new fairness doctrine expos and here it is. brian, let me begin with just a personal bit of background on myself. i am a nationally syndicated radio show host. >> guest: yes you are indeed and a good one. >> host: thank you very much. i will take the complement. i know people are increasingly alarmed, people in the industry, talk radio by when you write about and that is the threat to the first amendment right to free speech. >> guest: it has been going on now more than two decades actually even before president reagan lifted the fairness doctrine in 1987. but when he did, conservative talk radio came out of the gates like wildfire. it was amazing to watch. i was there at the time.
12:02 am
i worked 20 years under the fairness doctrine, i worked 20 years outside of the fairness doctrine and i can tell you that there was a night and day difference in what we could do on the nation's airwaves. for the first time we had stations accepting talk radio as a true format. proof of the putting so to speak is that in 1987 there were only 125 radio stations doing talk radio in america. now there are over 2,000 so you cannot tell me that lifting the fairness doctrine was the wrong thing to do. >> host: let's get into the fairness doctrine in your subtitle the new fairness doctrine expos. let's go back a little bit in time. tell us exactly what the fairness doctrine was. >> guest: the fairness doctrine was an fcc, federal communications, regulation. 1949 and was established. it was established to force broadcasters to reach out, to seek out opposing viewpoints on
12:03 am
controversial issues. back then in 1949 there were only 2,000 radio stations in america. there were only a few fledgling television stations in america and a glimmer of hope for a television network or to. there wasn't so much media back and of course we didn't have the internet. we didn't have the diversity of media we have today so it could be argued to some degree the fairness doctrine was a fair thing back then because if he were overloaded on media with a political ideologies it could sway opinion, no question with lack of media we had back then. but today there were 13,000 review stations in america. there is the internet. we have dozens of cable news channels. we have networks, tv stations, many more newspapers and magazines. there can be no argument for need of diversity of viewpoints in america. we have it at the drop of the
12:04 am
hat. >> host: given the contemporary context the very phrase fairness doctrine is a misnomer then. >> guest: it is a orwellian term, that is so disguised and so on their actually in this day and age that it should never be used for some democrats to hide behind and use it as absolutely disingenuous today. >> host: you mentioned was dropped in 1987 that reagan was a leading force along the enforcing the fairness doctrine. why did that come about? >> guest: the supreme court in 1968 he found a way to a case against a radio station and suggested at that time the fairness doctrine might very well be unconstitutional and as a result of that several federal communications commission chairman looked at it and commissioners looked at it over the years but it wasn't until reagan they took it seriously and president reagan of course was a broadcaster from his early
12:05 am
days at who radio in des moines iowa, and he knew what the free marketplace meant to free speech and therefore his fcc repealed it by a 4-1 vote back then and was the best thing that ever happened to free speech in america. for the first time broadcasters were on an equal playing with our print brethren. >> host: after the end of the fairness doctrine 1987 what happened to the radio airwaves? what kind of metamorphosis' did you see? >> guest: it was instant. i was involved in a talk radio station in seattle washington back in 1988 called king 1090, very liberal radio station i might add and we can get into that story a little bit later. >> host: absolutely. >> guest: but immediately the first out of the great debate colgate was rush limbaugh and he fully understood what it was to be able to opinionative really on the air waves when he was in
12:06 am
sacramento california he had to live under the fairness doctrine guidelines. when he located in sacramento he told me that it was amazing that there was nobody giving political talk and he said this is a cakewalk. my word, what fun this is cui to be. then he had to succumb to the fairness doctrine by giving an hour of a program to somebody in this community concerned about what he said so he had to move over and he says it was the most boring hour of retial i've ever done in my life. and that is what was happening back then. there was no question about it. what we saw immediately was of a sudden we could put commentators on the radio and half three opinion on the radio. we didn't have to act as moderator's any more. talk radio was so boring in the 1980's you could report you're lost dog or report any kind of matter like that but it was
12:07 am
share your favorite recipes. there were some good programs. i don't want to denigrate talk retial back then there was a bruce williams and sally jessy raphael and they did great progress back then, all and vice, not political. we stayed away from politics like the plague back then. post, it is amazing when you think back to 1987 this was before cable tv days coming essentially pre-cnn although they were on the air but they didn't have the wide audience they have today, pre-fox news certainly, pre-internet, pre-pre-blogs so when rush limbaugh khamsin right after the lifting of the fairness doctrine, what he did, what he was able to pioneer and all of the fellow conservative talk-show hosts like me we were able to see the conservative point of view was not being expressed in any other media outlet, not newspapers, broadcast television, and so it gave the conservative voice in place to be expressed and why,
12:08 am
and the reason it turned into a commercial success and i want to get into that with you momentarily is because half the country you could argue half of the country may be a little bit more because we still are a center right nation felt their views were not being expressed in the mainstream media and all of a sudden here comes this new form of media where their views are being expressed articulately rush and others of a sudden you have half the country may be more thinking we are not alone. our viewpoints are not crazy we are not isolated and we are validated. >> guest: we are finally validated. i was one of those conservatives that through the 80's was told i should not think the way i think and i certainly should not speak the way i spoke and when rush came out of the gates i remember thinking to myself while, he is saying what i think and feel yet he is brave enough to say it. what is wrong with that picture?
12:09 am
the fairness doctrine was lifted and we could all of a sudden do exactly that. it was an amazing time to watch conservative growth so quickly because you're absolutely right and there are many research project setback this out that most media is so liberal that conservatives felt for years they had no validation in the media and that's why they are still loyal to talk to talk radio today. it's the only avenue for them. that is why they are still loyal to fox news. they feel it's the only avenue for their validation and so they support it and that is why it is so strong in america today but you can go to many research projects, the ehud research center, this last election clearly showed the press favored obama. the media research center over the years has shown through many studies that white house correspondents over 80% of them have been democrats.
12:10 am
this last fall even the woman for the "washington post" wrote in her paper that her paper favored obama clearly over mccain and there are so many instances of media bias, talk radio is the only opposition to that by yes and that is why it is done so well if it hadn't been for talk radio we would not have known the other side of the iraqi war. we would not have exposed the perils of national health care. we would have most likely had and immigration bill passing through our congress and senate and without conservative talk radio there would be no opposition to this and clearly that's what the obama administration wants, no opposition. >> host: the other part of the equation, brian come is the commercial part. because what the liberals don't want to deal with, what they don't want to see is conservative talk radio when it
12:11 am
came on the scene and even to this day is a huge commercial success in terms of ratings and revenue, conservative talk radio makes money so in a private sector economy if that is still what we have which is arguable, but one of the things they want to tap down is this private sector success. >> guest: absolutely and that is what is scary about this effort. there is a statement made by the acting fcc chairman michael copps, spelled with two p's by the way, the didn't get that right. he has stated if a market cannot produce what the market wants in terms of the diversity of that market in government has a legitimate role to play in regulation of speech. this from the federal communications commission. to me that is one of the most arrogant statements about the free marketplace and free public determine for what it wants to hear, read and see.
12:12 am
and for major bureaucrat to not understand that the free marketplace determines free speech in america is absolutely incredulous in my opinion. >> host: how to the square that circle? there are limited limitations of free speech for example you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, you can't incite violence and even now there are hate speech laws on the books but it is a very limited circumscription here on free-speech, so how are they getting away with this in modern times where we have so many of these other outlets for a little speech, conservative speech and various other forms? >> guest: it's very subtle. i think we have to go back into the history of why they absolutely hate conservative talk radio and they do. there is no question about it. they felt conservative talk radio was too powerful and
12:13 am
helped usher in the republican revolution in the early 90's for congress. >> host: which it did. >> guest: absolutely did. it helped defeat the democrats and 2,000 in 2004. there is no question that they hated that. they absolutely hated that. when george bush won his second election they found they would take talk-radio down and when the white house back in 2008 and about that time, 2004, there were many organizations formed, media matters is one, media matters for america for left organization that has won an intent to take conservative talk down. the use our statements, tichenor statements completely out of context, misrepresent them and in dullish them with what they think is the truth. that organization is unbelievable. i have been a target of that organization. >> host: as maffei. >> guest: as most conservative talk-show hosts have. i was supervising a show in reno
12:14 am
nevada, for citadel, kkoh, rated number one for eight years plus, phenomenal radio station. the afternoon host, bill mant terse gets into the immigration issue in a major way and then he uses the word illegal media matters' it's all over him. the illegal immigration, they even went as far as sending an e-mail blast which is one of their tactics as you know, to their constituents to protest this at the radio station so we have a few protesters on the sidewalk and we have other people calling the radio station and calling advertisers to try to get those advertisers of the radio station. here's the irony of the whole thing. most of those people haven't heard the program. they don't even know what the radio station ase and it's just they are like sheep and i think media matters as an organization they have their rights to free speech but so do we. >> host: this is what is so disturbing about what you just
12:15 am
described in the united states in the year 2009 in the 21st century that we have this kind of, these kind of intimidation tactics and strong armed tactics to silence people with legitimate points of view. again nobody is going on their yelling fire in a crowded theater. we are simply expressing a legitimate political point of view and what we have now is this fault police going on and coming from the left, the thought police you mentioned or william, that is exactly what it is where you feel like you have to weigh every word if you come out with a joke. those of us that did three hours on the air every day five days a week sometimes six days a week you find yourself worrying every word may be restraining yourself holding court on because you are afraid that fought police might come at you or what would you have to say, put it in some form of a perverse content, miss characterize it, plaster it all over the place and you are going to lose revenue or your radio stations might get hurt.
12:16 am
>> guest: i've given up on that. i don't care anymore. i state what i feel and i have been attacked over so many years. i received literally hundreds and hundreds of hate letters from the far left when i put in a radio station in seattle washington that perhaps is the very first all conservative radio station in america. i would take those letters and put them on the bulletin board for everybody to read. they were so incredulous and it was like a cogent -- coach at a halftime, he belize, here's what the opposition is saying, let's beat them. we did, we went from number 23 to number one in the market in the retial station in less than three years. but the far left absolutely comes after conservative talk radio and isn't it interesting that we don't advocate the same kind of intimidation on the left. we believe in free speech rights but they come after us and try to shut us down through intimidation, through regulation and that is exactly what they are trying to do through the
12:17 am
fcc. at the center of this whole debate is the center for american progress, the c.a.p. report, offered by john podesta. john podesta was the transition chief for president obama. the c.a.p. report is basically the playbook right now for the federal communications commission and they are the regulation of radio and they are going to reregulate the media. they have stated in the 2008 platform they need to clarify the public interest obligations and president obama favors to distinct means of doing that. one is a diversity of media ownership. the virtuous localism and under the localism banner that is where we need to be careful about this. >> host: let's talk about each one of those and break those down. first talk about localism and tell what that means. >> guest: localism is a requirement and a regulation that the fcc has had for a number of years. localism is good and it's a good
12:18 am
name. radio stations should reach out and beat local. but what the fcc is contemplating doing is requiring a certain amount of programming to be local, requiring, not voluntary by the radio station. in other words read your station in a small community that cannot afford to pay for a local personality that cannot afford to be 50% local or whatever the requirement might be for that review station would be put out of business because they cannot afford that. they just cannot afford it. the market may not bear it and so i think the fcc has to be sensitive to this. again that is a form of censorship because it pushes the ability of that station to syndicate a program and forces it into localism and the fcc says no, that is not -- that's not any kind of censorship whatsoever. i don't understand how they don't understand that or they
12:19 am
just but it is definitely a way of moving over a syndicated conservative talk-show host such as yourself in favor of more localism. i agree that a station needs to be local as a program director i absolutely required of the stations i supervised but it has to be something that is voluntary and is done by the free market place in america. >> host: what about the concept of being commercially viable? you mentioned earlier in the interview that there were many times local programming that was boring as can be and everybody would turn off their radio because somebody was talking about a cat up a tree and nobody cared about that, so it starts to be inappropriate the federal government would come in to some of these stations especially the smaller ones but even the bigger ones like wnbc in new york, kabc and los angeles and tell them that x amount of time needs devoted to a local programming when perhaps for those stations
12:20 am
or any station that might not be commercially viable for them. >> guest: commercially viable and interesting like to say. number one is hard to find good local talent in communities in america. there is no question that out. but again, i stress that the fcc should back out of this area because it is regulation of speech. and for them to not admit that or understand that is incredulous. i just don't -- again, i think that this is an effort by the far left toomas say that we are going to advocate a new fairness doctrine by going through the back door basically with fairness doctrine requirements. same thing. >> host: do you think this is an attempt by the obama administration and democrats at large because the of super majorities in congress because when i looked at the landscape and we are talking about commercial viability here and private sector, what i see is a
12:21 am
massive government intervention into every nook and cranny of our lives and the government intervention in the private sector is some precedent could we just saw the government takeover of general motors. the government orchestration of the chrysler bankruptcy. we have the government intervening in the financial sector with the banks shaking them down over the t.a.r.p. money and they cannot repay when they want to. next will be intervention in the health care sector and the list goes on. is this what we are talking about here part of a multipronged approach that none of this is random, none of this is off the cuff, it was all orchestrated to go all at one time so that all of our rights and abilities to succeed or achieve in the private sector are being tracked down. >> guest: i have no question about it. i think you have mailed it. i think that what this administration does is it tries to act so quickly with so many
12:22 am
things we don't have time to discuss what is going on. we don't have time to measure the consequences adequately. and this is going on right under our noses and i will tell you how important this is to me and i hope many americans is if we regulate speech in america what other rights to we have at that point? what other rights matter at that point? because all rights we have as americans come from one thing and that is our free ability to speak. and if we reregulate radio speech or television speech or any way reduce the speech at all, we are giving up our most important right in america. we are giving up our heart and soul at that point and that is why the book documents so many efforts that are intimidation factors that i have a hard time wondering why these people can
12:23 am
even call themselves americans. i really wonder. and i have come to a conclusion, monaco, that these people hate conservative values so much they want to destroy them and the way they can destroy them is to destroy conservative talk in america. they cut the head of this maker of so to speak. and i am very afraid that we are giving up our rights, that it is happening right under our noses and we are in peril. we are at the edge of timoney. we've really are. >> host: one of the ironies here is the left like to pride itself on the concept of tolerance. they are tolerant and expect everyone else to be tolerant and that is what the nation was built on. yes the nation was built on the concept of tolerance but with the left exercises and practices is intolerance. >> host: >> guest: total intolerance, it is hypocritical. when i was attacked in the 80's and 90's even by my employer
12:24 am
back then you know, i looked up the word liberal. what does it mean. a liberal is a person who is open-minded about things. eckert least that is the definition i have always been told and used. there is nothing open-minded about going after a conservative viewpoint with intimidation. that is and open-minded. >> host: does that strike you as a real sense of fundamental insecurity on the part of the left that they believe their ideas are so weak or four or perhaps this country's center-right and their ideas will not be supported that because they cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas they feel they need to put the first amendment in 85 is and try to shut down conservative thought and expression? >> guest: i have no doubt about it because i truly believe that most americans when it comes down to core values have some conservative values and
12:25 am
predominantly. i saw it in seattle when i program there. i was told by many people that conservative talk would never work, that it's berkeley north and one of the most liberal areas in the united states. but you get outside of that core area of downtown seattle, the core metropolitan area and it immediately turns more conservative because people are entrepreneurs. they understand what their tax payers' dollars are doing and they have to make payroll and as soon as the outer edges of the city started listening to this conservative talk radio the ratings skyrocketed. i am convinced most americans have core principles and i think that is another reason the format works so well is it resonates with meaningful things in their lives. i was attacked viciously in seattle in fact i remember a distinct telephone call coming from a friend of mine who was the bureau chief of the
12:26 am
associated press when we first went all talk on kvi. he said you can do that, that's not allowed. you can't possibly do that in america. the fcc would not allow that and i said to him you are misinformed. the fairness doctrine was repealed about two years ago or three years ago, whatever the time frame was back then. but they couldn't believe in america we could have absolute free speech. and it's a very scary thing to the left i believe. they don't feel secure at all and because we are successful in talk radio they don't have a piece of that. they have all other media which they feel to recognize by the way interestingly enough, they absolutely failed to recognize that but they have not been able to compete well in that talk radio circles and it's an interesting point. >> host: brian, you mentioned the big station in seattle that you program and that in the
12:27 am
immediate vicinity, the immediate urban neighborhoods people thought there is no way that conservative radio can thrive your city in the suburbs once the signal got out beyond that immediate liberal core of the urban center those serb urban areas of really started listening and that is where your ratings were essentially driven. do you think that holds true for most these big city conservative stations? >> guest: i do. >> host: that is still not shaped. >> guest: i absolutely do. i think the core power structure of and in our urban area is predominantly democratic controlled but once you get out of it i think it turns in america and is the heartland of fact and away and i see that happening in most cities. i have seen it happen the last two decades that way and i think that is why conservative talk radio does so well is it reaches people where people are real people.
12:28 am
>> host: the signals in some of these big stations, 50,000 watts extremely strong so it can go over the heads of the liberals so to speak and reach the people you're talking about. that must also drive the liberals not. >> guest: it does. number one these are powerful stations. there's a reason these stations are running this type of programming. it works. simple as that. they don't want to admit its success because they have not been successful in talk radio. they hate this because conservative talk is very listened to and very successful. so far little talk radio has not been. and in the book i encourage all of my liberal friends keep talking. keep earning your way. i am the champion of free speech. why don't they say the same thing to us? >> host: again if they honestly believe in the marketplace of ideas and strength of their ideas, then certainly they might take you on
12:29 am
your offer and they have tried on the airwaves and when we come back from the break i want to get into why you think liberal or progressive talk has not succeeded in america and i also want to delve a little bit more deeply into some of these back door initiatives that the left is trying to push through and now i suspect with a democratic president and these big democratic majorities in the congress that perhaps they are armed and are certainly dangerous. >> guest: they are locked and loaded. >> host: they are locked and loaded, they have their resources and brian, i think they understand the political momentum is only going to be with them for so long. that politics in america moves in cycles and they are not going to have this kind of political capital to do this much longer and that is why we have to watch. we are going to have more with brian jennings and his book, "censorship: the threat to silence talk radio." back right after this. >> after the words and several
12:30 am
others used in programs are available for download at podcast. more with brian jennings and monica crowley in a moment. after words with brian jennings and monica crowley continues. >> host: chaim monica crowley and we are back with brian jennings's issues book is outstanding, "censorship: the threat to silence talk radio" the new fairness doctrine exposed. brian, when we left off we were talking about the marketplace of ideas and how the left seems to think at least based on their behavior here their ideas cannot compete, their ideas might be weak or vulnerable or perhaps
12:31 am
because we still remain a center-right nation could not survive without all the protections they are trying to build into the system and of which is to silence conservative points of view. what has been the track record of liberal or progressive talk in america? >> guest: from an organized standpoint dismal. there are successful liberal talk stations in america. there's one in san francisco. kgo is generally considered liberal and others. but air america for instance was a dismal failure its first time around. >> host: went into bankruptcy didn't it? >> guest: went into bankruptcy, can out of it, they are trying to recover now. it's an absolute disaster. i tried as a programmer to establish liberal talk on a half-dozen stations in my career all failed and it was in just a failure. it was total failure.
12:32 am
>> host: is that when the liberal voices were on the air of loan and how does that compare if you prepare a liberal voice of the conservative voice and i know because i was part of that experiment on conservative talk stations and cable networks and it doesn't really seem to work. >> guest: it doesn't work that well at all when you combine the two back and forth. it's because liberals don't want to hear conservatives and conservatives don't want to hear liberals. the reason we have all conservative stations and or all little stations is because that is the formula that seems to work best for ratings in america and we have to generate ratings because so far we are the free market economy in america. we have to generate ratings for advertising revenue. i tried early in my career to be -- in fact i use the fox phrase, fair and balanced, use that on the air on kvi in seattle many years ago and i did not work. it did not work.
12:33 am
you know, i really gave it an effort. i had rush limbaugh on the air and fall with a friend of ours, alan echols, a dear friend of mine. and alvin is a great talk-show host. i value him immensely but it did not work because the conservative audience would not stick around. as soon as we figured that out and started programming the way the music programmer would program you don't mix country music with jazz, you don't mix urban with pop, what if your it may be. we put conservatives in the lineup and all of a sudden have the conservative listeners from russia all listening longer through the day. ratings took off like wildfire. on the station's i tried to talk on we've treated the same environment but up against the conservative station it paled. it wasn't even close. part of my job as a national program director is to keep tabs on radio ratings nationwide. i look at markets where there is
12:34 am
little talk, air america or other avenues of talk and these stations are oftentimes rated 28, 29, 30, 34 than the marketplace. you can't exist that way. that really drives liberals not. they cannot admit their ideas failed in a free-market place. therefore what do they do? they run to daddy, the government -- >> host: the baby big daddy. >> guest: and they want to give us a fair -- we can't believe in all of diverse america our point of view doesn't work. we don't accept that. that's even contained in the c.a.p. report, center for american progress again headed by john modesto. that is stated in that report. fact of the matter is the free marketplace is where ideas germinate and succeed or fail. and we have to value that. >> host: if the liberal point of view doesn't succeed in talk
12:35 am
radio that's just one medium and that is what they are focused on because it fails there. however the left has msnbc, "the washington post," "the new york times," the "boston globe," pretty much every newspaper with an exception of very few, plus time and newsweek and the list goes on and on, brian. >> guest: it does. host koza their focus on this one medium without taking a step back looking at the whole array of media outlets where their point of view is multi fold and expressed in every single out that you cannot turn around and go to a new stand without seeing one of these liberal newspapers or news weekly so they are focused on the one medium where they cannot succeed when they have the advantage everywhere else. >> guest: they want it all. they have wanted it all for years and they cannot stand to not have it all and that is why we have to protect conservative talk radio because it is the only opposition out there left. if we marginalize conservative
12:36 am
talk radio through the regulation of whatever is the public interest obligations of america through the airwaves, we have given up freedom. we have become homogenized as americans and at that point we are puppets of the state. >> host: orwellian. >> guest: there's a country trying to do this right now if you read it is the country of argentina. the president is so angry at the big media companies for the criticism she wants to force more diversity of media ownership and that it six likely would our dilemma is trying to do the same time. >> host: you're right about this in the bixby and talk about international book samples what is happening right here in america. you write about canada and say it looks like what canada is doing is leading the way for the left in this country and their movement against free speech. >> guest: my word, the canadian situation scarcely to death. the canadian human rights tribunals, they even call them that, very powerful.
12:37 am
our friend mark stein and his book "america alone" when he rode through mclean's magazine and the islamic council protested and went to petition to the human rights tribunals costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars in court and legal fees. i am not sure how much it cost him but they certainly did cost. it was an absolute right to free speech. in canada it took months to clear that up and it wasn't just one human rights tribunal, it was british columbia, it was alberta, it was others, saskatchewan i believe as well, and the national canadian human rights tribunal. that tribunal or those tribunals have censored pastors, censored canadian citizens, find them for what they deemed to be hate speech, speaking out against homosexuality and a marriage and so forth and we are seeing the
12:38 am
same thing creep into the united states. absolutely. >> host: to we have evidence, brian, that the obama administration and democrats in the congress are really looking toward these international example? do we have concrete evidence they are watching what is happening in canada or argentina, western europe and are literally taking that as a model for what they want to do? >> guest: i absolutely believe that is to be the case. it's very apparent the recent example of the united kingdom banning michael savage for his bombastic speeches against radical islam. it's incredulous a country that purports to value free-speech would even consider that in fact i defend michael savage in several instances in the book so i would presume that the united kingdom should ban the book. i mean, if they really follow consistency you'd think would be hate speech as well.
12:39 am
we are seeing many as examples of other organizations and assaults on free speech not just through the fcc, but other organizations such as hispanic organizations. and especially in los angeles working with the chicano studies group at ucla where the have allegedly isolated and 80 minute tape with three different shows, john and ken of que fy, michael savage, who works with your network and also lou dobbs and and 80 minutes of tape they claim to have 334 instances of hate speech. well, first of all, who defines hate? there is a saying one man's cup of tea is another man's poison or something like that. who defines that? who defines what is hateful and is not? i find it interesting the hispanic groups that are
12:40 am
suggesting fears stated the value free speech but -- >> host: there's always a but. guess there's always a but whenever you see that or hear it be careful. free speech can only be free without that bought. >> host: on this very point talking about political correctness and when it runs amok like this it does turn into a form of censorship, and i think to the example of don imus who made infamous crack he was simulcast on msnbc network while during his nationally syndicated radio program and that kind of political correctness came down on him. the left got him out of there as fast as possible. the advertisers were squeezed and that is just like sybil of many of picks ackley what you are talking about and this gets into the back door approach the left is having to silence voices they disagree with. this could have been many examples and don imus is probably the leading it simple,
12:41 am
no question. guess it was a stupid comment absolutely. he acknowledged and will just profusely. i think it was part felt in his apology. he is back talking where he should be. he does have his free-speech rights. there is common sense and i think that most conservative talk understands what the common sense is all about. there are liberal talkers out there who are vehement and hateful themselves and if we wanted to be the same as liberals and charge that we would do that but we are not. we believe in free speech -- >> host: brough in, what about this idea of the double standard? don imus makes a misguided remark, he does a public choice and why does he pay the ultimate price, he loses his job, his radio show for a while but somebody like wanda sikes, an african american comedian can stand at the white house correspondents' dinner and wish rush limbaugh dead and she gets laughs, she doesn't lose any
12:42 am
gigs even the president of the united states laughs at that so this is the environment we are dealing with. >> guest: it's very hypocritical and as you noticed, rush did not comment on that. he didn't need to. it tells the full story with the far left wants for america and they don't want conservative views. they hate conservative views and want to absolutely kill conservative views around america therefore they go after all were talk-show hosts. >> host: we are talking soft center ship. it's talked about this hard censorship you write about. do you think this democratic president with big majorities will go at a full frontal reinstitution of the fairness doctrine or will they approach it from a different angle? >> guest: if they do they can expect a tea party that is incredulous. it will be the biggest tea party this nation has ever seen. >> host: you and seen nothing yet. >> guest: you ain't seen
12:43 am
nothing yet. they are not going to go through the front door on this because a lot of trial balloons were put up about the fairness doctrine especially as the new president was coming into office in power earlier this year. former president bill clinton for example expressed his desire to see some kind of balance and fairness on talk radio and many other democrats launched into it. there have been many efforts the past couple of years to do the same. it's been going on since the early 90's when they wanted to return the fairness doctrine but they have figured out and they knew all the time that it would be found on constitutional in the court system at least we would hope it would be found unconstitutional because if it is and we are not the nation we thought we were. therefore they want to go through the back door and address the fairness doctrine in new clothes and that is what they are doing. >> host: why would the fairness doctrine applies only to talk radio and not say to broadcast television or cable television or newspapers?
12:44 am
>> guest: it would have to apply to television. >> host: broadcast television. and cable television? >> guest: knott cable television. cable television itself regulated although there are several democrats who would like to take a fairness doctrine to cable and satellite as well, no question about it. they are very radical. they are the speech centers of america. so what they have done, they are going in through the back door through these measures called localism and diversity of media ownership. the diversity of media ownership is intended to do one thing. force liberal viewpoints into conservative talk america. it's absolutely for that purpose and intention again democrats will not admit that in their goals, but it's already started. it started in may with hearings organized by the acting fcc chairman michael copps. they have a group of 31 advisers who were there to try to figure
12:45 am
out a way in which they could take media licenses from one group and give them to minorities and women. i think that is fine to have diversity in america but it has to be earned through the free marketplace. i am a free marketplace person and you cannot tell me taking a license away from one group and giving it to another doesn't impact speech. it absolutely does. if they cannot, maybe they can, claim it does not impact free speech in america. >> host: this is a force of affirmative action. >> guest: forced affirmative action. >> host: let me ask you what with the new fairness doctrine in the form you are talking about apply to national public radio which pays tax payer funded and quite liberal as we know. so npr is xm from all of this. >> guest: absolutely. >> host: why? >> guest: it is their own turf. it will not apply to them. of course it would apply to than in the legal sense they couldn't
12:46 am
pass a law or regulation that would impact just conservative talk radio without impacting in puerto rico. >> host: so maybe you and i could get a gig on npr. >> guest: i would be their shoulder to shoulder demanding equal time on every station. >> host: doesn't this strike you as absolute upside down alice-in-wonderland craziness where npr which is a government-run entity on talk radio which is far to the left paid for bye taxpayer dollars the woody essentially be protected from this kind of imposition of fairness and whenever a third euphemism they want to stifle free speech? >> guest: at word your friend alan echols nailed it. he says we have to be careful for what we ask and he's absolutely true because and right because it would impact a national public radio potentially and all other liberal media potentially. and let's face it. again, they have control over
12:47 am
most of the mainstream media. there are thoughts permeate most mainstream media so i think they are on the slippery slopes here and thin ice big time. >> host: you mentioned president obama and he has a track record in talking about these issues and certainly he is a smart politician to the extent he will put people in place who will do the heavy lifting and the dirty work for him so he can look like the good cop as opposed to john podesta or the head of the fcc who will be the bad cops in the situations. is there first of all is there a public statement on the record by president of on the fairness doctrine? >> guest: yes, two times i am aware of. he says he does not favor the fairness doctrine degette however, he does favor diversity of media ownership and diverse viewpoints on our airwaves which we already have, and he favors localism and radio and tv which by the way we already have and the three marketplace determines
12:48 am
that. he is very much on record for these fairness doctrine of regulations without having to come out for the fairness doctrine. let me say this. i think this is very important. i have been accused of paranoia. i've been accused of manufactured controversy. i have two words for manufacturing controversy. global warming. and i think those are serious words to take into consideration by you bet i'm paranoid about speech. absolutely. there is nothing better to be paranoid about the and free speech in america. it's our most important right. i wouldn't be as paranoid if house speaker nancy pelosi would allow a vote on the broadcaster freedom act which would forever band the fairness doctrine, but she has not permitted a vote on that for two years and she is on record quoted as saying our caucus, the interest of our
12:49 am
caucus is in the reverse. nancy pelosi stands for regulation of speech on the airwaves and i think that america should turn the heat up on her office, call her out on this because if you are not for free speech and she is clearly not by resisting this broadcaster freedom act which is sponsored by congressman mike pence and greg walden, to former broadcasters to understand what's at stake. if you are not for that i don't know how she can look herself in the mirror. >> host: or their republican members of congress speak out forcefully on this and do we have legislation either in the hopper or being considered for and against what we are talking about? >> guest: diaz, the two gentlemen i mentioned are the chief spokesman for the conservative talk radio site and that is congressman pence and walton. they understand what's at stake and there are others. is their regulation or legislation that would prevent
12:50 am
it? yes, they would queue up legislation but shot down by the democratically controlled majority in both houses, no question. the only thing we really have here, we don't even have a filibuster. we won't have a filibuster in this matter. the only thing we have is a court system and a court system is skewed out and there are many illegal centers cued up and ready to go if we get back to the regulation of speech. one is the thomas moore law center in detroit and they are representing michael savage on the u.k. controversy where he cannot travel to the u.k. because he's 2 feet four in his speech. by the way he's never advocated violence and is he is bombastic and many of us say to when it down but he has got free-speech rights. >> host: the general who listening public, will shed
12:51 am
their fourier's be attuned to when they start seeing this kind of movement? are there radio stations already anticipating this might come down the pike soon and you agree it is going to happen within a year or year and a half may be because democrats realize they don't have that much time? >> guest: i think certainly by that time frame, yes. maybe even sooner because the fcc is negative several commissioners obama must replace but it will soon have a 3-2 democrat majority of the fcc and when it does and i expect that in the next at least two months may be more but in that timeframe that you will start to see at that point a movement toward redefining the public interest obligations and the new chairman will be julius genachowski, and olden shom of obama, he led the digital effort
12:52 am
for obama's campaign, very successful in what he did because he garnered the youthful glow. this man absolutely is in the mold of diversity of ownership, diversity of opinion and you point of localism, no question about it so those will be the to efforts led through the fcc so i think is right around the corner. >> host: will this be a creeping kind of thing or in stand and to use the radio stations already starting to build and localism or put donner of liberal hosts in anticipation? >> guest: i don't see them putting on a liberal host so to speak but there is one group which is the largest retial company in america, a clear channel communications, which has a -- is trying to get out in front of this by establishing programing advisory boards which the fcc clearly wants to get done through their localism mandates and they want to be there doing it themselves rather
12:53 am
than having government regulate said to me programming advisory boards are very scary thing in america and it is clearly -- >> host: again, orwellian. >> guest: very orwellian. i ready 98 page rulemakings report from the fcc which was issued a general 24th of 2008. and in this account at least eight references to establishing programming or community advisory boards for stations and they leave language very gray and nebulous. they say should these members be appointed or should they be elected? >> guest and then the stations t already have a formal that size report would be exempt from this. just by stating what the xm means they are going to mandate for anybody who doesn't do this right away. the free marketplace dictates what is popular and what is not.
12:54 am
we already have our board of advisers as radio talk-show hosts. they are your listeners. a review through the arbitron service is and if your ratings are that you are gone. that is just the way it is. and to establish a board of advisers at the very least is fierce looking over the shoulder of a broadcaster for fear of what he might say, what you might say and at the worst it could be censorship because of who is on the board, who appoints those members, does the radio station or the government? >> host: and there is potential conflict of interest all over the place. let's try to get pro-active in the remaining minutes. what can any of us do to stop this attempt and let's again with retial management. what can they do? >> guest: retial management needs to stand up for the first amendment number one. they need to talk about first amendment rights as americans we have. that is what i did. it finally got me and i said
12:55 am
this and i have to say something about this. i am in a position i can say something about this. i have no conflict of interest whatsoever and i can speak out loudly. as americans we have to realize this should not be a fight of conservatives and liberals and should be a fight by conservatives and liberals against anybody who favors regulation of speech in america and i would hope that number one america would realize that, not allow it to happen under their noses because this administration acts quickly and a stealth manner in which it could happen and don't even know it's happened and until it is too late and we have to be aware of this there are many groups out there right now which are pleading the cause to protect our speech rights on the airwaves. one is the media research center. the media research center i have a lot with a thin, brent bozell was a fabulous job on our behalf
12:56 am
has a petition drive you can easily sign online. they are going to deliver or they have delivered at this point at least 400,000 signatures online. there were others. there is to resist any kind of speech on the radio and there are others, i believe it is, there is another organization which is representing the rights as americans. so there are avenues you can protest through with an on-line petition. the other things i would suggest is we have to demand the broadcaster freedom act receives a vote, stand-up vote in congress on the house floor and i think that we have to aim our criticism and desire for this vote to nancy pelosi who has not allowed this vote the last two years. i think it is reprehensible she has not done this. it is a simple matter if you
12:57 am
believe in free speech rights on the airwaves there is no reason whatsoever to get in front of this bill and not allow a vote on it. so those are some things we have to pay attention to. >> host: i can understand why people who are devoted to conservative talk radio would be passionate about this. my audience, your audience over the years. the general public, have you been hearing from the general public's, liberals, moderates, independent as well as conservatives you might expect our to hearing from the net public a sense of outrage what is going on or is there a general sense of apathy? >> guest: i think by the mainstream public right now there is lack of awareness of what is going on in this regard. i think among conservative audiences there is a big awareness of what is going on. i have been at many rallies in america. i did a 20 market or to the
12:58 am
coach were, four of those were absolutely huge. albuquerque, reno, huessy and portland oregon. hundreds and hundreds of people turned out to talk about this issue and hear about this issue. it was gratifying to see their interest and depth of knowledge on this issue. liberals for the most part panned the book as we expected and that's fine but believe me if we lose free-speech rights in america through reregulation in the public interest through the fcc, liberals are going to lose those rights as well because what is good for one is good for the other. it has to be that way. >> host: final question for you, brian. if we lose conservative talk radio whether you listen to it or not and whether you agree with the conservative point of view or not what do we lose? >> guest: our hearts and soul. we are no longer america.
12:59 am
symbol last that. >> host: one of the great ironies, the founding fathers the reason they began this space experiment is based on two things, freedom of worship and freedom of speech. and this is why it is so vital to protect talk radio and in particular conservative talk-radio. >> guest: government has no right to sit in the editor's chair or control content through regulation, pogo. >> host: this is about protecting the first amendment, bill of rights and constitution. brian jennings, thank you so much for joining me today. >> guest: thank you para >> host: the book is called "censorship: the threat to silence talk radio." the author is brian jennings. im monica crowley. thank you so much for being with us today. ..

Book TV After Words
CSPAN August 17, 2009 12:00am-1:00am EDT

Brian Jennings Education. (2009) Brian Jennings ('Censorship') interviewed by Monica Crowley.

TOPIC FREQUENCY America 43, Brian Jennings 6, Us 6, Fcc 6, Seattle 5, United States 3, John Podesta 3, Don Imus 3, Nancy Pelosi 3, Npr 3, Seattle Washington 2, Sacramento 2, Canada 2, Msnbc 2, Crowley 2, Michael Copps 2, Washington 2, Expos 2, Alan Echols 2, Los Angeles 2
Network CSPAN
Duration 01:00:00
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 544
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 8/17/2009